5. Buyer Beware – Insights

Please note: These insights are intended for people going through Financial Peace University and are not a substitution or a recap of the coursework or presentation.

Shopping behaviors have changed over the last 12 years since the invention of ‘Google’. A few insights:

  • When you see a significant purchase, especially electronics shopping, snap a picture of the SHELF TAG which will often have the product make and model #. Then go home and look up reviews, pricing, and specs. What this does is two fold: 1) Stop you from making an impulse decision and 2) create the 24 hr waiting period that you may need before making that purchase. You can often find out what others who have purchased the item think and perhaps even get a better price or find it used on Craigslist. What I have also found is that an item on ‘clearance’ at a big box store maybe the ‘starting price’ at Amazon.com – so it may not really be a bargain at all.
  • I’m big on ‘keeping my word’ and one hard part was that I had already made several promises to my daughter on big purchases we would make, prior to FPU. I didn’t suspend them as FPU suggests, I carried them out but I did so at a detriment – I slowed my progress. Keeping my word to my daughter was what I valued and still do. But there was a consequence, I had some things to clear before the budget started to work.  There was a tradeoff.
  • Watch “That’s Not Good Enough” on FPU Central. Read that section in the book too. Be ready to walk away. I walked away 3x from a collectible I wanted at the Flea Market that was priced at $75. On the 4th visit, I got it for $25 – 4 months later. Same vendor. It was a 1966 Corgi Batmobile (the big one) from the TV show. I had the power to walk 3x. On the 4th visit I got what I wanted at the price I wanted.

Next Up: The Role of Insurance